APTA Responds to msn.com Article on Personal Trainers

March 25, 2009

Comment Re: "Is Working Out the Newest Health Threat? Unqualified personal trainers are putting your life at risk. Here's how to protect yourself from this emerging national exercise epidemic" by Dimity McDowell.

Ms. McDowell's article provides a valuable service to consumers in warning them to be very careful when choosing a fitness professional. 

Readers should know that, as trained experts in human motion, physical therapists provide safe, proven solutions for prevention, wellness, and fitness services for their patients/clients. Most physical therapists hold master's degrees, and a growing number are pursuing the doctoral degree in physical therapy (DPT).  Physical therapists must also be licensed in the state or states in which they practice. 

Most people who desire a fitness plan are not athletes. They are "ordinary people" who exercise lightly to moderately. Many have a prior health condition, such as chronic low back pain, that can benefit greatly from physical therapist management, which may involve increasing muscle strength and endurance, restoring and improving range of motion in joints, increasing cardiovascular endurance, and decreasing muscle and joint pain.

The consumer should know that his or her best chance for developing a safe, appropriate exercise program lies with a physical therapist. To learn more about physical therapy and to find a physical therapist in your area, please visit www.moveforwardpt.com.


Emilio J. Rouco
Director, Public Relations and Marketing
American Physical Therapy Association